Aviator becomes the US Navy's first Black female fighter pilotBy Mark Pygas
Jul. 13 2020, Updated 8:38 a.m. ET
The US Navy's first Black female fighter has been given her wings, in an important moment of history. In a tweet, Chief of Naval Air Training, Rear Admiral Robert D. Westendorff, announced that Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle had completed her training.
"Brazo Zulu to LT. J.G. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus," Westendorff wrote. "Swegle is the US Navy's first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month. HOOYAH!"
Others were also quick to congratulate Swegle on her achievement. Rear Admiral Paula Dunn, the Navy's Vice Chief of Information, wrote on Twitter: "Very proud of LTJG Swegle. Go forth and kick butt."
Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote: "Congratulations, LTJG Swegle! You make the US Navy and our country stronger."
According to Business Insider, the photos show Swegle's final flight in the Tactical Air (Strike) program, which was taken in a T-45C Goshawk training aircraft.
Swegle is currently assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron (VT) 21 in Texas.
In a statement last month, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday announced a task force that would look at ways to "identify and eliminate individual and systemic racism within our force.” The plan included allowing Black sailors to speak candidly about their experiences.
“As a Navy, we cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind,” Gilday said.
Social media was full of praise for Swegle, with one user writing: "Thank you Madeline Swegle for being a trail blazer, and showing other young women like yourself, anything is possible with hard work."
While another concluded: "The s**t she must’ve gone through to get there... STRONG doesn’t even begin to describe her!"
"Congratulations what an exciting career," another user concluded. "You showed them at being female and black takes nothing away from your strength and intelligence!"